Family of Overton schoolboy Reece Holt launch charity fundraiser to mark one year on from his passing

The charity set up by Overton schoolboy Reece Holt is to raise money to help sick children in Nepal to mark the first anniversary of the teenager’s passing.

Tuesday, 14th January 2020, 11:22 am
Reece Holt

Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil Reece passed away on January 18 last year.

The 13-year-old had been battling Anaplastic Astrocytoma, a malignant tumour that affects only about 10 children a year, since May 2016.

Reece and his family worked tirelessly for their Team Reece charity, which helps children with cancer and their families as well as helping to provide funding for vital research for brain cancer in children.

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Rachel O'Neil and son Reece Holt.

His brother Callum and best friend Oscar Spensley later became the first Young Ambassadors for Team

Reece. The charity raised more than £15,000 at its Golden Ball at the Winter Gardens last September.

And it is now planning a fundraiser to help children in Nepal – an issue that was close to Reece’s


Reece’s mum Rachel O’Neil explained the decision on the charity’s Facebook page.

She said: “One of the things that stuck in Reece’s mind was how amazing the NHS is and what we take for granted, this was highlighted even more when chatting one day with Reece’s favourite person ‘The Prof’ aka Professor Pizer at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the subject of his work in Nepal at the Kanti Childrens Hospital.

“Because Reece was born in the UK his symptoms were managed, he had three neurosurgeries, radiotherapy, physio, chemotherapy and anti seizure meds, access to clinical trials, ambulances and air ambulances at his disposal, the best care and nursing staff, countless amounts of help and admissions to hospital and of course end of life care to help Reece pass without too much discomfort!

“Had Reece have been born in Nepal he would have died horrifically in my arms on the 5th May 2016!

“Reece wanted to do something to help children with cancer in Nepal but never got the chance, so to mark the one year anniversary of his passing Team Reece are going to raffle off one week in our holiday home at Lakeland Haven and donate the money to So The Child May Live, a charity that also works with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and Charity to help to improve the care for children with cancer at Kanti Children’s Hospital in Nepal, at this moment all their fundraising is doubled by the UK world aid fund so it’s a perfect time for us to offer a little help! Let’s make Reece’s wish a reality and send his light and wish to help others across the world!”

The raffle will be drawn on January 18 as the family marks Reece’s anniversary. Rachel is also asking people to light a candle on January 18 to remember Reece and all other children fighting cancer.

“It would be nice to send his light across the world in some small way,” she said.